Worried about money amid the coronavirus pandemic? A financial expert has some advice

Worried about money amid the coronavirus pandemic? A financial expert has some advice
This is a scary time, not only for our health but also for our finances. (Source: KPLC)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - This is a scary time, not only for our health but also for our finances.

Unemployment is skyrocketing as businesses continue closing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tim Riney from the Family Wealth Group says more than 10 million people filed for unemployment in the last two weeks of March. Before the coronavirus outbreak, Riney said the highest weeks for job loss claims were in 1982 and 2009, both with fewer than 700,000 claims made.

“Many people continue to ask, ‘what is the government doing to help me right now?’” Riney said. “Most people know President Trump has signed into law a $2 trillion relief package. The bill includes a one-time direct payment of up to $1,200 for individuals and $500 per child. The bill also plans to expand unemployment benefits and offer loans to small businesses to meet payroll and keep doors open.”

Riney says you can also take matters into your own hands and make adjustments to your budget.

“If your expenses outweigh your income, you are going to have to make some tough decisions,” Riney said. “Find out where you can cut. Even if it’s temporary. Your gas, entertainment, and dining out expenses should be lower right now. You might have to consider other cuts like your cable or other subscription services.”

Also review your savings if you have any. Riney says the new stimulus bill allows those under the age of 59 1/2 to take a distribution of up to $100,000 from their 401K without paying a 10% penalty and prioritize debt.

“You need to stay on top of high-interest debt like credit card debt,” Riney said. “We waste so much money on high-interest debt, don’t let that pile up right now.”

If you need a loan, read the fine print. Fees and interest rates can add up fast. Call your credit card company or landlord to explain your situation and see if there are options to delay payment.

For more information on The Family Wealth Group, click or tap here.

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